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Nathanael West

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  • Word power

    Word power
    Earlier this year, when Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a 100-book required reading list for his compatriots, it provoked anxiety, rekindling memories of Soviet-era censorship. The furor underscored an important point: that literature plays a fundamental role in defining a country's culture and its discourse.
  • Happy birthday, Raymond Chandler!

    Excerpts from an amazing 1957 interview between Raymond Chandler and Ian Fleming.

    Reading L.A.: Admirers of Los Angeles, warts and all

    Christopher Hawthorne's "Reading L.A." series considers books by Richard Longstreth, John Chase and William Alexander McClung.

    Brick-and-mortar treasures in Tinseltown

    Brick-and-mortar treasures in Tinseltown
    Like an old movie set, original Hollywood was dismantled ages ago, leaving what appears to be scant trace of its hallowed roots: The Hollywood Hotel (where Louis B. Mayer and a long list of silent movie stars stayed). The Hollywood Brown Derby (where...

    Nathanael West and the writing of 'The Day of the Locust'

    Nathanael West and the writing of 'The Day of the Locust'
    The year 1939, when Europe was going up in flames and America clung to the hope that it need not become part of a world at war, turned out to be a miracle moment for Los Angeles fiction, seeing the publication of "The Big Sleep" by Raymond Chandler,...